Goodbye 2015

It's that time of year again. Time for me to go through all of my photos from the year and pick just ONE from each month that I want to post.  Let's remember 2015 in all it's glory with some pictures!

January 2015: I'm posting this to remember my tan. My glorious tan body that I may never see again. Last January we were still living in O'ahu. I really loved living in my green and red track shorts and going to the beach every single day. The last week I remember sitting on the beach with Cat and kind of panicking about where life was going to take us. At the time neither of us knew we were going to come back home to SF and promptly pack up our life and move to L.A. I was feeling really stuck at the time, and the thought of going back to San Francisco after living in bliss for 3 months wasn't making me feel excited. I know this sounds really hippie-dippy, but I really did some soul searching on those beaches with the waves as my guided meditation. Everything that came up for me I just gave it to the ocean and let it wash it away. Some of my favorite memories are just talking with Cat about the future. Hawaii is a great place to dream. 

January 2015:

I'm posting this to remember my tan. My glorious tan body that I may never see again. Last January we were still living in O'ahu. I really loved living in my green and red track shorts and going to the beach every single day. The last week I remember sitting on the beach with Cat and kind of panicking about where life was going to take us. At the time neither of us knew we were going to come back home to SF and promptly pack up our life and move to L.A. I was feeling really stuck at the time, and the thought of going back to San Francisco after living in bliss for 3 months wasn't making me feel excited. I know this sounds really hippie-dippy, but I really did some soul searching on those beaches with the waves as my guided meditation. Everything that came up for me I just gave it to the ocean and let it wash it away. Some of my favorite memories are just talking with Cat about the future. Hawaii is a great place to dream. 

February 2015: Leaving our San Francisco apartment and moving to Los Angeles was exciting and super scary. Especially since I had never seen the apartment we were about to move in to! Cat spent her birthday month commuting back and forth from both cities as she started her new job in L.A. and tried to help me pack up the apartment in SF, too. It was a stressful time for sure. Somewhere in there we squeezed in a birthday for Cat. What a month! 

February 2015:

Leaving our San Francisco apartment and moving to Los Angeles was exciting and super scary. Especially since I had never seen the apartment we were about to move in to! Cat spent her birthday month commuting back and forth from both cities as she started her new job in L.A. and tried to help me pack up the apartment in SF, too. It was a stressful time for sure. Somewhere in there we squeezed in a birthday for Cat. What a month! 

March 2015: I really love the desert and was thrilled to get to spend my birthday in Joshua Tree with Cat and Michael. Desert weather is no joke, it's super hot and dry in the day and freezing at night. My skin usually hates me after I leave, but there's something about it that is quite magical. I was happy to have my birthday in such a place. 

March 2015:

I really love the desert and was thrilled to get to spend my birthday in Joshua Tree with Cat and Michael. Desert weather is no joke, it's super hot and dry in the day and freezing at night. My skin usually hates me after I leave, but there's something about it that is quite magical. I was happy to have my birthday in such a place. 

April 2015: Lola had a birthday too. Can you believe our little peanut is 8? This year she has had 2 eye injuries, has somehow gotten even more spoiled than before, and her fur is turning white in some areas. She loves the warm weather of southern California but not the hot hot heat. She spends most of her days snoring on the couch in office while Cat works, begging for food. She is currently curled up next to my leg snoring while I type this. 

April 2015:

Lola had a birthday too. Can you believe our little peanut is 8? This year she has had 2 eye injuries, has somehow gotten even more spoiled than before, and her fur is turning white in some areas. She loves the warm weather of southern California but not the hot hot heat. She spends most of her days snoring on the couch in office while Cat works, begging for food. She is currently curled up next to my leg snoring while I type this. 


May 2015: Pretty sure I am missing water right now with the photos I've picked to represent the year. In May we went to Palm Springs, my favorite desert spot. We met up with our San Francisco friends and I lived in this pool. We took a lot of little trips in May, including Big Bear and a trip to the ocean. I was really trying to hang on to any speck of tan i had left in this photo. 

May 2015:

Pretty sure I am missing water right now with the photos I've picked to represent the year. In May we went to Palm Springs, my favorite desert spot. We met up with our San Francisco friends and I lived in this pool. We took a lot of little trips in May, including Big Bear and a trip to the ocean. I was really trying to hang on to any speck of tan i had left in this photo. 

June 2015 Gah!!  I finally got to see all my siblings at once! It's been years. We met in Milwaukee to celebrate my brother Jordon getting married. This is all the siblings with our mom, a niece, nephew, a couple of my sister in laws. This still isn't everyone... We are large. This short but sweet trip involved a Polish festival, a possum being caught in my brother's backyard, backyard games until my arm was sore, rain, farmers market,and of course an air mattress that wouldn't hold air and left me sinking to the cold hard floor my first night. Ahhhh, memories. 

June 2015

Gah!!  I finally got to see all my siblings at once! It's been years. We met in Milwaukee to celebrate my brother Jordon getting married. This is all the siblings with our mom, a niece, nephew, a couple of my sister in laws. This still isn't everyone... We are large. This short but sweet trip involved a Polish festival, a possum being caught in my brother's backyard, backyard games until my arm was sore, rain, farmers market,and of course an air mattress that wouldn't hold air and left me sinking to the cold hard floor my first night. Ahhhh, memories. 

July 2015: And just like that we were married for 1 year. We actually spent our anniversary in San Francisco and had a great time seeing friends, eating our favorite food and being in the city we got hitched. . I can't wait to see what 2016 brings for us!

July 2015:

And just like that we were married for 1 year. We actually spent our anniversary in San Francisco and had a great time seeing friends, eating our favorite food and being in the city we got hitched. . I can't wait to see what 2016 brings for us!

August 2015: She will probably hate me for posting this, but this is real life. Remember that job she took so we could move to L.A.? Well she took a better fitting job back in San Francisco, which means she commutes there once a month and we facetime for the week she is gone. I hate when she's gone, but you know what they say about distance and the heart. It's our monthly reminder of how things don't feel whole until she is back in town. I have no idea what I'm doing in this picture, but I'm sure i'm being hilarious. :) 

August 2015:

She will probably hate me for posting this, but this is real life. Remember that job she took so we could move to L.A.? Well she took a better fitting job back in San Francisco, which means she commutes there once a month and we facetime for the week she is gone. I hate when she's gone, but you know what they say about distance and the heart. It's our monthly reminder of how things don't feel whole until she is back in town. I have no idea what I'm doing in this picture, but I'm sure i'm being hilarious. :) 

September 2015: I don't remember much of what happened in September other than it was 10000 degrees here every day. I got on a major smoothie kick and started experimenting with new flavors every day. I think this is around the time Cat started feeding the squirrels that inhabit the tree near our balcony, which soon turned into the squirrels that wouldn't leave us alone and would jump on our patio every time we went out there and give us a heart attack. Then they started staring into our house when the patio door was shut.  She stopped feeding the squirrels after that. 

September 2015:

I don't remember much of what happened in September other than it was 10000 degrees here every day. I got on a major smoothie kick and started experimenting with new flavors every day. I think this is around the time Cat started feeding the squirrels that inhabit the tree near our balcony, which soon turned into the squirrels that wouldn't leave us alone and would jump on our patio every time we went out there and give us a heart attack. Then they started staring into our house when the patio door was shut.  She stopped feeding the squirrels after that. 

October 2015: When the indoor climbing fever really set in. WE are still hooked ! 

October 2015:

When the indoor climbing fever really set in. WE are still hooked ! 

November 2015: It was hard to pick a photo for this month, where we got to spend Thanksgiving with my brother and his family. I think we are all laughing so hard here because Charlotte said "SELFIE!!" before we took it. Just looking at this makes me miss these munchkins so much I could cry. *Note* this post is making me so emotional!

November 2015:

It was hard to pick a photo for this month, where we got to spend Thanksgiving with my brother and his family. I think we are all laughing so hard here because Charlotte said "SELFIE!!" before we took it. Just looking at this makes me miss these munchkins so much I could cry. *Note* this post is making me so emotional!

December 2015 We just got back from our trip to New Jersey/New York yesterday. It was my first time visiting with Cat in her home state. I got to meet a large amount of her  Puerto Rican side of her family as well as just hang out with her parents and siblings. We spent a couple of days in New York, one of them with Dana. I love this photo because Dana makes Cat laugh in a way I can't describe. It's always so hard to say goodbye to family and friends from home. 

December 2015

We just got back from our trip to New Jersey/New York yesterday. It was my first time visiting with Cat in her home state. I got to meet a large amount of her  Puerto Rican side of her family as well as just hang out with her parents and siblings. We spent a couple of days in New York, one of them with Dana. I love this photo because Dana makes Cat laugh in a way I can't describe. It's always so hard to say goodbye to family and friends from home. 

Well, that ended up being emotional for me. Sheesh. 

Thank you 2015 for keeping us healthy, happy, and on our toes. 

Happy Holidays!

Whenever I have an opportunity to hang out with my family, I am over the moon. There are 6 of us kids, spread out all over this land, rarely ever in the same place at the same time. My brother Bryce and his family flew down to spend Thanksgiving with us and we were so excited to have them. We rented a house in Dana Point and spent time at Laguna Beach, making and eating lots of food, watching movies, and hanging out in front of the fireplace at night. We also spent a day at Disneyland!! We had so much fun, and it made me wish (yet again) that we lived closer. The twins are the cutest little things and we are so attached. Saying goodbye was not easy, but it makes me so excited to plan more trips to see them. 

Grady was mesmerized by the movie and held his orange slice up to his mouth for about 20 minutes before nibbling on it. Charlotte on the other hand polished off the rest of the orange while he waited. Auntie Cat was in heaven. 

Grady was mesmerized by the movie and held his orange slice up to his mouth for about 20 minutes before nibbling on it. Charlotte on the other hand polished off the rest of the orange while he waited. Auntie Cat was in heaven. 

Our Thanksgiving Day family photo

Our Thanksgiving Day family photo

Charlotte and Cat. Heading to the beach to watch the sun set

Charlotte and Cat. Heading to the beach to watch the sun set

Bryce and Grady

Bryce and Grady

Lauren capturing her family

Lauren capturing her family

Grady discovering the hard way that the water is COLD!

Grady discovering the hard way that the water is COLD!

little sweethearts!

little sweethearts!

Not a bad winter day on the beach

Not a bad winter day on the beach

Charlotte the acrobat!

Charlotte the acrobat!

Soak it all in little man

Soak it all in little man

chasing seagulls and digging holes. These two played hard for hours and hours and hours

chasing seagulls and digging holes. These two played hard for hours and hours and hours

I loved watching Cat with the kids. She is so energetic, loving and just full of so much love and patience. It's a beautiful thing to see the person you love-LOVE children so much. (how many times can I type LOVE in this paragraph). 

I loved watching Cat with the kids. She is so energetic, loving and just full of so much love and patience. It's a beautiful thing to see the person you love-LOVE children so much. (how many times can I type LOVE in this paragraph). 

Bryce and Lauren are such wonderful parents. They have quite the story with these two...seeing as how they entered the world so early. Lauren is a superwoman! I love you guys. 

Bryce and Lauren are such wonderful parents. They have quite the story with these two...seeing as how they entered the world so early. Lauren is a superwoman! I love you guys. 

An old man stopped what he was doing and just stared at these two holding hands through the parking lot and he said "Isn't that the most beautiful thing." It is. 

An old man stopped what he was doing and just stared at these two holding hands through the parking lot and he said "Isn't that the most beautiful thing." It is. 

Guess where we are?!!

Guess where we are?!!

Charlotte was SO excited for the carousel. 

Charlotte was SO excited for the carousel. 

After a long morning and afternoon of rides, it's time for a lollipop pick me up

After a long morning and afternoon of rides, it's time for a lollipop pick me up

Charlotte was SO excited to ride the rocket that she couldn't contain herself :) The kids were really great standing in lines all day. 

Charlotte was SO excited to ride the rocket that she couldn't contain herself :) The kids were really great standing in lines all day. 

Fueling up on warm beverages. It got cold! Cold for California...

Fueling up on warm beverages. It got cold! Cold for California...

We had such a wonderful time filled with making so many memories. We took a million movies and I will be posting them as soon as I edit. We are spending Christmas on the east coast with Cat's family, and I look forward to having even more family time. 

The Whole30 Challenge

I have always had a high interest in the body and the healing powers of food. So much so, that i decided to go to school for holistic nutrition to learn the ins and outs of the subject. Each one of us has our own relationship with food, an ongoing journey that we've probably attempted to fix, tighten up, or cry over at least once in our lives. Food is really powerful stuff. It can break us down, it can burn us out, it can lift us up. We turn to it in times of celebration, times of weakness, sadness, and times of pure bliss. There have been enough articles published over the years that it is common knowledge at this point what foods are bad and which are good for you. Yet, there is always a new debate...go vegan, go paleo, quit sugar, quit carbs, count calories....on and on and on. My own personal philosophy is this: Every body is different. The specifics of what is working for me might not work for you. And what works for me today, might not work 100% for me in 5 years. BUT I do know this, the food you choose to eat can either heal you or it can make you sick. I view food as medicine. The cleaner I eat, the better I feel. Whole unprocessed foods are key.

And yet, even after educating myself and being completely passionate about the subject, I too struggle with this. I am not perfect. Life happens. These last couple of years have had a lot of movement for me and caused some stress. Something I have done to combat my stress is get lazy with food and turn to the convenience of it. When I felt hungry, I grabbed whatever was near me while I mapped out what I really wanted to eat.  Cat and I went out to eat and ordered take out WAY too often. Neither of us are a fan of our tiny little kitchen in our L.A. apartment, so I think we boycotted it unconsciously for the last 8 months. We would cook, but not too often. This last year I have felt incredibly tired, sluggish and fatigued for no particular reason at all. I would get sleepy after my meals.  I was finishing my 2nd 30 day yoga challenge, but still wasn't feeling the energy that I was hoping for. My best friends were finishing a Whole30 challenge around this time, and after hearing them go on and on about all the positives it was producing in their lives, Cat and I decided it was time we too made a shift. 

We knew that this was going to be hard, but we also knew that it was going to be worth it. The whole30 completely strips away "hormone-unbalancing, gut-disrupting, inflammatory food groups" for one month. There is no cheating, no 80/20 way of eating, no indulgences (like coconut flour pancakes for example). Does it seem daunting and difficult to imagine your life without sugar, grains, legumes, alcohol, and dairy? Yeah, it did for me too. Don't worry, you're not alone in that feeling. However, it's just 30 days. We are coming to the end of our 2nd week, and I must say, this is a life changing way of eating. There are certain foods that will never enter my gut again. There are things that I have been having nightly dreams about, like cookies and cake. These are annoying me, showing up unannounced and making me daydream about all day. How rude! lThen there are things I am surprised I don't miss at all, like grains and beans. 

We are documenting this journey and would love it if you followed along. Staying committed (even over Thanksgiving) has it challenges, but I'm happy to be doing it with Cat. We help keep each other focused on what's important. 

Here are our first two videos so far. 

Remember that food has the power to heal. Changing deep rooted habits (which most of us have in regards to food) is one of the most challenging things you can do. Remember also that most changes lead to new beginnings. This for me, is yet another new beginning with my relationship and passion for nutrition, the body and cooking.  

I know that I have never felt better than I do right this moment from eliminating all the crap from my life. Stay tuned for more updates!